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ICYMI: Daily Local News: Wolf, Casey stump for Dan Williams in Coatesville

With about three weeks left until the midterm elections, Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, both incumbent Democrats seeking re-election this year, spoke at a rally at the New Life in Christ Fellowship church and urged voters to cast ballots for Dan Williams, a Democratic candidate for state representative in the 74th Legislative District, and to support Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.

* With about three weeks left until the midterm elections, Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, both incumbent Democrats seeking re-election this year, spoke at a rally at the New Life in Christ Fellowship church and urged voters to cast ballots for Dan Williams, a Democratic candidate for state representative in the 74th Legislative District, and to support Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.

* Wolf said that Harrisburg was broken when he first took office nearly four years ago, but he accomplished goals including expanding Medicaid, funding public education, balancing the state budget, and fighting the opioid crisis. He said Pennsylvania is now doing a lot better than four years ago, but there is still more work to be done.

* [Williams] said seniors shouldn’t have to worry about being driving out of their homes due to high school property taxes and rising health care costs. He said it’s important to vote for Wolf, Casey, Houlahan and Muth so they can fight for reforms to allow seniors and retirees to live in peace.


ICYMI: Daily Local News: Wolf, Casey stump for Dan Williams in Coatesville

COATESVILLE – With about three weeks left until the midterm elections, Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, both incumbent Democrats seeking re-election this year, spoke at a rally at the New Life in Christ Fellowship church and urged voters to cast ballots for Dan Williams, a Democratic candidate for state representative in the 74th Legislative District, and to support Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.

Wolf said to the gathered crowd of more than 100 people that he was honored to be there to support Williams, and it’s important to elect him to help make change in Harrisburg. Williams, who’s the senior pastor at the church, is running against Republican candidate Amber Little-Turner for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Harry Lewis Jr., who decided not to seek re-election.

Wolf said that Harrisburg was broken when he first took office nearly four years ago, but he accomplished goals including expanding Medicaid, funding public education, balancing the state budget, and fighting the opioid crisis. He said Pennsylvania is now doing a lot better than four years ago, but there is still more work to be done.

He said this year’s elections may be the most important in his lifetime, and he encouraged voters to elect candidates like Williams to help keep Pennsylvania moving forward.

“If we make the right choice, we can do great things together,” he said.

Wolf also voiced support for Democratic candidates Katie Muth, a health care provider and professor challenging Republican state Sen. John Rafferty in the 44th Senatorial District, and Chrissy Houlahan, an educator, businesswoman and Air Force veteran running against Republican tax attorney Greg McCauley for Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District seat, which is open as Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello is not seeking re-election.

Wolf, who is seeking his second four-year term as governor, is being challenged by Republican Scott Wagner, a former state senator, as well as Libertarian Ken Krawchuk and Green Party candidate Paul Glover.

Casey said protecting people’s access to health care, especially for those with pre-existing conditions, is one of the defining issues in his race for re-election and this year’s midterm elections in general.

Casey quoted the lyrics “We are called to act with justice,” from the hymn “We are called,” to explain how more people are now getting involved in the political process.

He said the hard right and corporate special interests have gained an unprecedented amount of power in the federal government, and they’re obsessed with giving rich people money and taking away people’s health care, but it’s up to voters and candidates to protect basic principles of justice in this country as justice is currently under assault.

Casey said average people like Williams and Houlahan have been called to run for office in a difficult time, and community members have been called to support them in their efforts to work for justice.

He mentioned a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice.”

“We have a lot of drum majors for justice in the assemblage here tonight,” Casey said. “We’re gonna work and we’re gonna win.”

Casey, who is seeking his third six-year term in the Senate, is being challenged by Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta as well as Libertarian Dale Kerns Jr. and Green Party candidate Neal Gale.

Williams spoke about his background and said he’s not just a pastor, but also a professor, a parent and a taxpayer. He said it’s important for people of faith to get involved in the political process, and he wants to work to get things done, instead of just complaining from the sidelines.

Williams said it’s important to protect the rights of people who may be forgotten sometimes, such as the poor and senior citizens.

“Often people in power forget that the people who get lost in the debate about the poor are still people,” he said. “Part of what we want to do is move in a direction that doesn’t just lift some, but lifts every single one of us so that we can become contributors to this country, to this community, to this district.”

Williams said the term “working poor” is an oxymoron that should not be present, and there’s something wrong when one person is working three jobs and still struggling to survive.

He said seniors shouldn’t have to worry about being driving out of their homes due to high school property taxes and rising health care costs. He said it’s important to vote for Wolf, Casey, Houlahan and Muth so they can fight for reforms to allow seniors and retirees to live in peace.

Williams said the “war on drugs” has come to be known as the “opioid crisis” as the demographics of drug victims have changed. “We don’t need incarceration, we need treatment,” he said.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, said he’s known Williams since the time he was a student in Dinniman’s African-American history class at West Chester University. Dinniman said Williams would question and challenge him, which made him a better professor and they both learned together because of it.

Dinniman said Williams has frequently stood with him on issues affecting the Coatesville community, such as advocating for economic development that benefits everyone and questioning the Coatesville Area School District on parts of its curriculum, as well as urging an end to using the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement.

Dinniman said Williams will be a great state representative, and in that role he’ll also serve as a teacher for the community.

The midterm elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6.

 

Read the full piece here.

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Governor Wolf, Attorney General Eric Holder Discuss Importance of Fair Districts, Criminal Justice Reform

Today, Governor Wolf and former Attorney General and Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee Eric Holder discussed the importance of fair districts and criminal justice reform.

Pennsylvania – Today, Governor Wolf and former Attorney General and Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee Eric Holder discussed the importance of fair districts and criminal justice reform. Earlier this year, Governor Wolf rejected a partisan gerrymandered congressional map and, as a result, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a new, fair map that better represents the people of Pennsylvania. He also announced a 21st century voting reform plan, which calls for the creation of an independent, bipartisan commission to create future electoral maps.

Governor Wolf has made criminal justice reform a top priority by signing Clean Slate legislation, banning the box, and calling for a sweeping package of additional reforms such as bail and pre-trial reforms. He has also worked to ensure that the commonwealth is a place where African American Pennsylvanians know that their concerns and voices are heard and valued. Governor Wolf has appointed African Americans to serve at the highest levels of government within his administration and created the position of Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities at the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.

“I was honored to be joined by Attorney General Holder today to discuss the importance of unrigging the redistricting system and reforming our criminal justice system,” said Governor Wolf. “Attorney General Holder has been on the front lines working to develop and execute a comprehensive redistricting strategy and leading the way on criminal justice reform. I look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure that all citizens have an equal voice in government representation, and that Pennsylvania leads the nation in rehabilitation, not incarceration.”

“Governor Wolf has been a stalwart advocate for eliminating partisan politics from the legislative redistricting process and reforming Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Holder. “I was proud of the leadership he displayed in rejecting a partisan gerrymandered map earlier this year and, because of him, Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to vote this fall on a fair congressional map. It is critical that Governor Wolf is re-elected this November so that he can continue standing up against gerrymandering and advocating for criminal justice reforms that aim to reduce recidivism and end mass incarceration.”

If Governor Wolf is re-elected this year, he will serve as the governor in 2021 when the maps are redrawn, and he will once again reject any map that does not fairly represent the people of Pennsylvania.

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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Governor Wolf Thanks CeaseFire Pennsylvania for Their Endorsement

Today, CeaseFire Pennsylvania announced their endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election.

Pennsylvania – Today, CeaseFire Pennsylvania announced their endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of CeaseFire Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “I look forward to continuing to work with CeaseFire Pennsylvania to pass common sense gun safety legislation, such as strengthening our background check system and closing loopholes, banning bump stocks, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. I will continue traveling the commonwealth, engaging with Pennsylvanians to learn how the gun violence epidemic affects their lives and what steps we can take to better protect our schools and our communities.”

“During his tenure, Governor Wolf has recognized the gun violence problem plaguing Pennsylvania and the nation and has pledged support for key gun violence prevention policies,” said Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFire Pennsylvania. “Governor Wolf has also been a strong voice against policies that would make Pennsylvania less safe.”  

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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Scott Wagner Contradicts His Own Education Plan, Says Schools Have Enough Funding

This weekend, the Erie Times News reported that, when speaking about education funding, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner responded, “My personal opinion is we have enough money going into the education system.”

Pennsylvania – This weekend, the Erie Times News reported that, when speaking about education funding, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner responded, “My personal opinion is we have enough money going into the education system.” This directly contradicts his own school funding plan, which uses abracadabra math to claim that he will invest $1 billion into education without raising taxes.

“Scott Wagner’s comments that our schools already have enough funding reveal his true position on education– he is an anti-education candidate who would put our children’s futures at risk,” said Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor. “Wagner showed his true colors this weekend, which is in line with his record of supporting Harrisburg Republicans’ $1 billion cut to education, calling for 10% of teachers to be laid off, and saying he wouldn’t invest more money in public education. No bogus campaign plan can hide the fact that Scott Wagner would take Pennsylvania backwards.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Wagner Said Schools Have Enough Funding. “‘My personal opinion is we have enough money going into the education system,’ Wagner said.” [Erie Times News, 10/07/18]

Wagner Supported Harrisburg Republicans $1 Billion Cut to Education.

INTERVIEWER: Well, they say the Governor runs the largest corporation in the state.  He is the chief executive officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He’s come out with some pretty dramatic changes for the budget in this coming season, but we still have ⅔ of Pennsylvanians are opposed to the cuts in education.  If you were to give him advice, would you tell him to stick to his guns on these dramatic cuts that he’s making across the board. Education’s hit the worst, but everybody’s getting hit.

WAGNER: “Yes, I believe that Governor Corbett needs to stick to his plan.” [Behind the Headlines, 5/23/11]

Wagner Advocated For Laying Off 10% of Teachers in Pennsylvania. “‘We have 180,000 teachers in the state of Pennsylvania,’ Wagner said. ‘If we laid off 10 percent of the teachers in the state of Pennsylvania, we’d never miss them.’” [ABC27, 6/29/15]

Wagner Co-Sponsored Bill Which Could Gut $1.7 Billion from Public Education. “But every time a student opts to take the money, the same number of dollars would be subtracted from his or her home district. In theory, that could reach about 1.7 billion dollars, a fifth of the amount spent by the state on K-12 public education.” [Senate Bill 2, introduced 10/17/17; WHYY, 5/22/18]

Wagner Would Not Devote More Money To Public Schools. “To a great extent, it appeared that two candidates — Paul Mango and Scott Wagner — would be unwilling to devote more money to public schools … Scott Wagner … said he believes the state spends ‘enough money’ on public schools, while stressing the need for frugality, fewer regulations and more accountability.” [Associated Press, 3/07/18]

Wagner Said The State Should Not Spend More On Public Education. “The candidates — State Sen. Scott Wagner of York County; Paul Mango, a retired health-care consultant, and lawyer Laura Ellsworth, both from the Pittsburgh area — agreed that the state shouldn’t spend more money on public education…” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/06/18]

Wagner Twice Voted Against Restoring Funding For The Safe School Initiative. In April 2017, House Bill 218 eliminated money for the Safe School Initiative. The Senate restored that funding in their version of the budget, and Wagner voted against it in committee and on the floor. [HB 218, General Fund State Appropriations, 4/03/17, Senate Appropriations Committee Vote, Roll Call #391, 6/29/17, RCS# 206, 6/30/17]

HEADLINE: “State Senator Who Can Afford To Charter Helicopters On Whim Says Public Schools Overfunded.” [Huffington Post, 6/05/15]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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